Family Violence

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IMPORTANT
If you or anyone you know is in immediate danger – please call 000 now.

Click through to read more about who to contact if you need help or support.

Family Violence Program

This program helps Aboriginal women, young people and children who have experienced family violence.

What we offer

The program has three parts:

  • Family Violence Outreach Service – offers individual case work and group work, counselling and practical support for women, men, young people and families
  • Child Focused Family Violence Service  - helps children understand and heal from family violence and increases community awareness of the long-term impact of family violence on children
  • Family Violence Case Management Service - integrated case management service.

Get started

If you, or someone you know, would like to find out more about our services and begin the road to recovery from family violence, please get in touch with your nearest VACCA office today.

Locations

NORTHERN
Preston
340 Bell Street
Preston Victoria 3072
Ph: 03 9480 7300

SOUTHERN
Dandenong
Level 2, 26 McCrae St
Dandenong VIC 3175
Ph: 03 9701 4200

Morwell
25-27 Rintoull Street
Morwell VIC 3840
Ph: 03 5135 6055

Frankston
Suite 4-6, 108-120 Young Street
Frankston VIC 3199
Ph: 03 8796 0700

EASTERN
Chirnside Park
20 Fletcher Road
Chirnside Park VIC 3116
Ph: 03 8727 0200

WESTERN
Werribee
75-79 Watton Street
Werribee VIC 3030
Ph: 03 9742 8300
 

Want to know more?

You might wonder ‘what is family violence?’ Family violence is sometimes called different names such as “domestic violence” or “abuse”. It is important to acknowledge that family violence is not part of Indigenous culture.

DEFINITION
The Victorian Indigenous Family Violence Task Force defined family violence as: ‘An issue focused around a wide range of physical, emotional, sexual, social, spiritual, cultural, psychological and economic abuses that occur within families, intimate relationships, extended families, kinship networks and communities. It extends to one-on-one fighting, abuse of Indigenous community workers as well as self-harm, injury and suicide.’

Click through to read about examples of different types of family violence.

Campaign: It's What You Don't See

To raise awareness about family violence and its impact on Aboriginal children we launched our #itswhatyoudontsee campaign on the 20th March 2018. Led by the hashtag #itswhatyoudontsee, the campaign features four short videos that focus on one Aboriginal family and tells the story of family violence in the home and the impact it can have on the children in the family and their relationships in and outside the home. The stories were written by Aboriginal script writers and feature Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander actors who themselves have lived the impacts of family violence.

For more information on this campaign click here.

It is vital that we raise awareness in the community about the effect violence has on people – whether it is physical or not. We encourage you to share the videos and spread the message.

#itswhatyoudontsee

If you’re worried about a family member or friend

Family violence is common in Australia and it may impact on you or someone you care about.

If you are worried that a friend or family member might be experiencing family violence, you could find a safe time to sit with them to yarn about your concerns.

Some helpful things to talk about might include how to keep them safe or showing them this webpage so they can find professional support.

If you want to find out more ways to support your friend or family member, you can contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732) for a confidential yarn.

They will be able provide you with helpful information and support you in deciding what to do next.

Impact of family violence on children and young people

The impacts of family violence on children and young people are complex.

It can affect their behaviour, their development, their relationships, their emotions, their learning, their thoughts and their physical health.

Some things you might notice in a child or young person could be:

  • Poor concentration, aggression, hyperactivity, disobedience, disturbed sleep/nightmares, withdrawal, low self-esteem, showing no emotion (spaced out), always on edge, wary, fantasize about normal home life, pessimism about the future and physical symptoms
  • Self-blame, helplessness, grief, fear, dread, terror, worry, sadness, shame, anger & numbness
  • Depression, anxiety & withdrawal

Experiencing violence in childhood is a significant risk factor for being both a victim and a perpetrator of violence in adulthood.

If you are a professional and want to understand more

As a professional it is important that you adapt a holistic healing approach to understanding and responding to family violence in Indigenous communities.

Strong Culture, Strong Peoples, Strong Families 10 year plan

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices or names of deceased persons in photographs, film, audio recordings or printed material. To listen to our Acknowledgement to Country, click here.